However, some couples find that the physical part of their marriage fades into the background. Despite the fact that a “normal” decline occurs during the first few years of marriage (especially if they have children), the complete loss of sexual desire often indicates an issue that needs to be discussed.
Without the physical intimacy that distinguishes a romantic partnership from a platonic one, couples can become simply roommates. However, if both partners agree with this type of relationship, this can’t be called a problem. But in most cases, one or both partners are upset or suffer from a loss of physical intimacy and sex. In this article, we will tell you what to do with a sexless marriage.
Common reasons for a sexless marriage
A sexless marriage can have a lot of causes. The most common of them include:
1. Mismatched sexual libidos
Different people have different sex drives. This means that not everyone wants the same amount of sex and libido can naturally rise or fall. If the desire for sex does not coincide, partners still can have sex when they are both in the mood.
2. Erectile dysfunction
If it’s hard to achieve or maintain an erection, it makes it difficult to have sex for a number of reasons. Although erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem, it can also affect a person’s level of anxiety, confidence, and self-esteem. Men with ED symptoms should make an appointment with their doctor because it can be a sign of a certain health condition.
Excessive stress can harm your health and sex drive as well. Cortisol (the stress hormone) can also lower your libido. In addition to the physical reasons why stress reduces your sexual drive, the psychological effects of stress can make you feel tired, exhausted, and anxious that you simply don’t have the desire or energy for having sex.
Doctors usually advise women to give up sex for at least six to eight weeks after childbirth. Additional stress when caring for a baby, body changes, fatigue, and hormonal factors can also affect a woman’s sex drive after giving birth.
5. Hypo-sexual desire disorder (low sex drive)
Low sexual desire in women may be associated with hypo-sexual desire disorder, which is characterized as the absence or lack of sexual fantasies, desires, and activity. Such factors as menstrual cycles, hormonal contraceptive use, childbirth, breastfeeding, hysterectomy, and menopause may contribute to HSDD.
6. Medication side effects
There are a lot of drugs that have sexual side effects. Certain OTC birth control pills, some antihistamines, antidepressants, and high blood pressure medications can cause sexual dysfunction. Moreover, some medications can lead to vaginal dryness and many women with this condition complain that sex hurts.
The most common symptoms of depression include lack of energy, loss of interest and pleasure, social distancing, and depressed mood. All of these factors can affect a person’s desire for sex.
8. History of sexual abuse
Sexual abuse can have long-term consequences that can affect current and future relationships. Such emotional reactions as fear, shame, post-traumatic stress, and wrong self-perception can significantly decrease a desire to have sex.
9. Communication and relationship issues
If you constantly conflict with your partner, it can be challenging to maintain intimacy. You may even refuse to talk to your partner, not to mention sexual activity. Some of the most common factors that lead to marriage problems include poor communication, taste differences, and financial problems.
10. Lifestyle and personal factors
There are a lot of different life factors that can also play a role in how often people have sex with their partner. The most common of them include boredom, fatigue, grief, job loss, financial problems, and aging.
How to help a sexless marriage?
First and foremost you should understand what is a low-sex marriage and determine if a lack of sex is a problem for you. However, you should understand that there is no “right” amount of sex to have in a marriage. It is much more important to have physical and emotional intimacy with your partner.
It is also important to not compare your situation to others. Every relationship is different as well as people’s preferences and tastes. Although you may come across statistics that can make you feel that you and your partner lack sex, studies have shown that sexless relations are more common than you think. Even if you think that your situation is complicated, you can still try to communicate, focus on building intimacy or get professional help.
It is important to discuss the problem of low sex or no sex in your marriage with your partner. This conversation may be quite difficult, but it is necessary for both of you. Problems with sex and intimacy can occur even in a strong relationship. This is not necessarily mean that your marriage is weak or in trouble. It may just mean that you need to talk more and spend more time together as a couple.
If you need help figuring out how to start this conversation with your partner, you can consult a psychiatrist or therapist to find out how to approach this issue. It is important to maintain the conversation in a positive manner. It means that you shouldn’t give your partner a feeling that he or she is being attacked or blamed.
Each marriage is individual and you will need to work together as a couple to find out what works for both of you. Don’t try to live up to other people’s expectations or what you consider “normal.” You need to talk about what each of you wants, needs and expects. During the conversation, try to determine how you both think you can rekindle your sex drive. However, all the changes will only work if both of you will work together.
2. Focus on building intimacy
If you decide that both of you want to have more sex, consider including sex on your schedule. It may not sound quite romantic, but it can be exciting and special if everything is done correctly. Planning gives you something to look forward to and shows commitment to each other and your physical relationships. However, it is also important to explore other ways to create intimacy, which is often lost in sexless relationships. Physical intimacy includes more than sex.
Try to renew your love and create the spark that you had at the beginning of your relationships. Being close, both emotionally and physically, is an essential part of a healthy relationship. Cuddling together on the couch watching TV or taking turns massaging each other creates a fundamental closeness.
There are a lot of ways to build your intimacy, such as:
- Trying a new activity together
- Doing things together, like walking or attending yoga classes
- Planning on a vacation or getaway
- Planning a home vacation
- Going on a scheduled date nights
3. Get professional help
Seeking outside help may also be a good option. You can try a seminar to help with communication. You can also discuss with your doctor the basic medical conditions that may affect your sex life. Seek help from a mental health professional as a couple or individually to develop communication skills or master stress management techniques.
If such therapy seems like the right option, consider contacting a counselor (such as a certified sex therapist) who focuses on sexual problems in marriage. Your therapist can work with you to resolve any issues in your marriage that interfere with intimacy and examine specific factors that may be significant.